Sunday, July 30, 2006

Almost Back

We've had a great week at camp - more on that later. I'm with my family in Kamloops right now, staying with some friends. After church, I'm heading home. Juanita and the kids are staying for another week of camp.

Ian, thanks for the tag. I'll get after that when I get home.

I thought I'd touch base since I have internet access for a little bit here. Lord willing, I'll be back home this evening.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Riddlebarger Interview at Doxoblogy

Jeremy Weaver has posted an interview with Dr. Kim Riddlebarger on his blog. Please go and read this interview while you’re waiting for me to do my last couple of dispensationalism posts. I hope to be done with that subject before the weekend, if all goes well.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Jesus Shall Reign

1. Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
Does His successive journeys run;
His kingdom spread from shore to shore,
’Til moons shall wax and wane no more.

2. For Him shall endless prayer be made,
And praises throng to crown His head;
His name like sweet perfume shall rise
With every morning sacrifice.

3. People and realms of ev’ry tongue
Dwell on His love with sweetest song;
And infant voices shall proclaim
Their early blessings on His name.

4. Blessings abound where’er He reigns;
The prisoner leaps to lose his chains;
The weary find eternal rest,
And all the sons of want are blessed.

5. Where He displays His healing power,
Death and the curse are known no more:
In Him the tribes of Adam boast
More blessings than their father lost.

6. Let ev’ry creature rise and bring
His grateful honors to our King;
Angels descend with songs again,
And earth repeat the loud amen!

Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
Adventure Photos

At least we had pretty scenery to look at while we waited a couple of hours for the tow truck.

Here's the token wildlife shot. Don't tell, but this one's from the Calgary zoo. At least I didn't just scan a postcard!

And here's one that we liked from Ghost Lake, west of Cochrane:

Alberta Reformed Bloggers

Right here, folks. This picture may not capture all of the Alberta Reformed Bloggers, but it's probably most of us. Correct me if I'm missing some people. Please! Thanks again, Dan and Marlene, for hosting our little party. It was great to meet you too, Clint and Christel!

I’ve always said that the best part of a vacation is coming home. We arrived home from our six-day trip last night. We had a good time, though it did have some, um, interesting moments. I know that long personal journals can be boring, so I’ll do some quick points:
  • People, as usual, were the highlight of the trip. We did have supper with our blogging friends, the Humphreys and Sudfelds in Okotoks on Monday night. It was a treat to visit with them. It was great to spend time with Juanita’s folks for much of the time, though they didn’t come to Callaway Park with us.
  • We aquired a tent trailer that we picked up on Sunday in Edmonton. We just picked it up, plugged it in and hit the road. Everything worked very well. It was great to have it with the rainy weather we encountered. It didn’t leak, even though it is 35 years old. Thank you very much, L and S!
  • We had a great time at Callaway Park. This was a first for us. The weather was iffy, but we didn’t get too wet. They need to get some more radical rides, in my opinion, but it was enough for the kids (“Storm” was pretty good). Juanita surprised me by riding the roller coaster several times.
  • The Calgary Zoo was okay. I think it will be a long time before we go back.
    Kananaskis Country was beautiful, but it was rainy often enough that we didn’t hike like we intended. The park was lacking in amenities. We have been spoiled by provincial parks in B.C.
  • We bailed out of Kananaskis on Thursday, but our vehicle didn’t make it to Calgary (the intended destination). After an expensive tow and a $400 alternator, we stayed at a campsite near Cochrane for the night. I didn’t know that if you are an AMA member, you still have to pay to tow a trailer. I know now.
  • We visited Pilgrim Books in downtown Calgary on the way home. It is a large used Christian bookstore. I’m sure you would have to go back regularly to find real treasures. We bought a few books and a couple of CDs, but nothing spectacular this time.

On the 23rd, we are going to family camp at Sunnybrae Bible Camp for a week. Now that will be a restful vacation!

I'll try to post a few photos later. Blogger is not letting me do it right now.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


We’re off to Southern Alberta for six days. I have some more posts coming, but what’s the hurry? It’s July.

We’re planning to see the Spud / Homemaker and Cowboyology / Coloratura folks on Monday. We’re looking forward to meeting these friends.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Dispensationalism IV - What is Past

The goal and purposes of God’s covenant promises to His people were once hidden and now have been revealed through the preaching of the Gospel. At the fall, the world was plunged into darkness. From the first gospel of Genesis 3:15, God opened the door a crack and let in a little light, a faint glimpse of hope in God’s Promised Deliverer. Darkness is still the default mode of our fallen world, but God has given progressively more light to His people through His Word over the centuries that Scripture was written.

The absolute climax of God’s revelation was the coming of Christ (John 1, Hebrews 1:1-3). Christ is God’s Final Word. The light of this Ultimate Revelation casts the shadow of the cross and the glory of the resurrection back onto the Old Testament. Progressive revelation is present in the Old Testament, but the coming of Christ blew the lid off and exposed the once-hidden mystery of God’s promised salvation.

My dispensational friends are probably with me so far, but my concern with dispensationalism is that the distinctions between the dispensations are overdrawn. The simple progressive outline that I see all over the New Testament is clouded by emphasis on various Old Covenant dispensations.

The New Testament talks about promise and law, old and new covenant, Abraham and Moses. God’s promise of a Deliverer under girds all of this. Today, Christians in this present age and are looking forward to the age to come. We still see “through a glass darkly” compared to the age to come, but our light is different in kind compared to the prophets of the Old Covenant.

The light that shines on the Old Testament makes the tabernacle/temple, sacrifices, laws, land and priesthood look pretty shabby in their material presence when we look back on them in the light of Christ. However, when we see what these types and shadows pointed towards, namely the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then we continue to rejoice in them and learn from them. The law of the Lord is good and perfect, but the physical representations of heavenly realities were temporary and, with the coming of Christ, are now obsolete.

What about the unfulfilled promises to Israel? What unfulfilled promises? For instance, what did Joshua and Solomon say about God’s promises? Note, too, that these promises were conditional upon the obedience of the people (compare Jeremiah 31:31-34). A dispensationalist may protest that these are promises given through Moses, not Abraham, but look at how Paul interprets the Abrahamic promises in Galatians 3 and 4.

Why would we go back to the tokens when the Reality has come?

Imagine I promise my daughter an IPod for her birthday. When her birthday arrives, the Ipod is late arriving in the mail. In order to break the tension, I put in a picture of an Ipod from a flyer into her birthday card. The daughter is thrilled, but when the real Ipod arrives, she pushes it away and says, “No, I like this piece of paper better – it is, after all, what I got for my birthday.”

This, in a nutshell, is my problem with dispensational premillennialism. Why would we go back to a division of the people of God (compare Ephesians 2:11-22), a physical temple, “memorial” sacrifices and other shadows and types when Christ has come?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Tiger Lillies

More dispensationalism posts are coming - soon. In the meantime, let me express my kinder, gentler side by posting this picture of some flowers that I took tonight outside our church. I like Tiger Lillies, and these are nice big ones. I also know what they are called. That's no small thing for me.

Visitors in the Church

That's a big head. It's not a T-Rex, though it is a close cousin - just a little smaller (my son Josh is about 6'1" to give you some scale).

Our visitors are here for Vacation Bible School. Our leaders are Vance and Korelei Nelson from Red Deer, Alberta. Find out more about their ministry from They have some really neat stuff on their website. They have a great travelling museum - much of which is in our church right now! More pictures to follow as the week unfolds.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Let Us Love and Sing and Wonder

Another exceptionally rich hymn from John Newton

1. Let us love and sing and wonder
Let us praise the Savior’s name
He has hushed the law’s loud thunder
He has quenched Mount Sinai’s flame
He has washed us with His blood
He has brought us nigh to God

2. Let us love the Lord Who bought us
Pitied us when enemies
Called us by His grace and taught us
Gave us ears and gave us eyes
He has washed us with His blood
He presents our souls to God

3. Let us sing through fierce temptation
Threaten hard to bear us down
For the Lord, our strong salvation,
Holds in view the conqu’ror’s crown
He, Who washed us with His blood,
Soon will bring us home to God

4. Let us wonder grace and justice
Join and point to mercy’s store
When through grace in Christ our trust is
Justice smiles and asks no more
He Who washed us with His blood
Has secured our way to God

5. Let us praise and join the chorus
Of the saints enthroned on high
Here they trusted Him before us
Now their praises fill the sky
Thou hast washed us with Thy blood
Thou art worthy Lamb of God